When buying a house, always assume you will be living there for a long time. Many people buy a house and think “I’ll just be here a few years and then I’ll upgrade”. This is the wrong attitude because you never know the curve balls that life may throw; be sure you buy a house that you could live in for the rest of your life (even if you won’t).
Things to look for:
1. Number of Bedrooms – Try to think ahead. How many bedrooms will I need in the future? Are you planning on having children in the future? Will a relative ever come and visit or have an extended stay? Will children be leaving soon?
2. Number of Bathrooms – How few bathrooms can I live with? Do you need one for visitors? One for adults and one for kids? Plan ahead and family growth.
3. Location, Location, Location – Is the house near restaurants that you like to eat at? Is there a grocery store near by? How close are you to things you like to do (golf, shopping, Disney)?
4. Mortgage payment – Can you afford the mortgage payment on one income? Most families have dual incomes, but what if someone loses a job? Plan for this! Make sure you can pay your bills on one salary; then if something bad happens you will be alright in making your monthly payments. Don’t forget about taxes and insurance also!
5. House = investment – My advice is normally “the house you live in is not an investment”. Do not think of your house as investment, it is a home. If you are buying a second (or third!) home as an investment only do so if you can afford the payments if you had no renters. There will be good times and bad times. You need to be able to weather the bad times. This means you may be paying the mortgage without a renter from time to time.
6. Fall in love with your spouse, not your house – Perhaps the most important rule to follow. Love your children, your family, and those you interact with, but not your house. Your house is shelter and should be thought of as such. Do not go too much in debt for a house, keep repairs to necessary repairs, and most of all do not pay too much for it. If you are paying too much for your house, call us at 1-888-ME-HELP-YOU to see if you qualify for a loan modification.